Pukekohe Travel cruis­ing to suc­cess

Franklin County News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JOHN BOYN­TON

Pukekohe Travel is firmly in cruise con­trol.

The lo­cally-owned travel business won the New Zealand Gold Agency award and store man­ager Gail Lit­tin was named New Zealand Cruise Con­sul­tant of the Year at the Cruise Lines In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion Aus­trala­sia 16th An­nual Cruise In­dus­try Awards.

This was the first time an agency in New Zealand had won the two awards in the same year.

Own­ers Jim and Eve Mur­phy have run the business for 38 years, while Gail has worked there for more than 23 years.

Eve at­tended the awards cer­e­mony in Syd­ney ear­lier this month, which Jim said were the ‘‘Os­cars’’ of the cruise line in­dus­try.

Gail said she was hon­oured to have re­ceived the con­sul­tant of the year award.

‘‘It’s great for me but it’s also great for the of­fice, be­cause we’re a team.

‘‘It’s re­ally bril­liant and the first time it’s ever hap­pened and very good for a town like Pukekohe.’’

Cruise hol­i­days, Gail said, were pop­u­lar for fam­ily trips, girls’ get­aways and honeymoon es­capes.

‘‘There’s ev­ery­thing you could pos­si­bly wish for on a cruise ship.’’

Gail and Eve are cer­ti­fied mas­ter cruise con­sul­tants, and their ex­pe­ri­ence helped them to give clients the per­fect hol­i­day.

‘‘What I like about the travel in­dus­try is putting the right prod­uct to the right per­son,’’ Eve said.

How­ever, Gail said there’s al­ways room to im­prove in the in­dus­try.

‘‘You’ve just got to keep re­search­ing and keep read­ing and keep learn­ing.’’

The business had adapted over the years, es­pe­cially with the in­tro­duc­tion of the in­ter­net, Eve said.

‘‘I al­ways say that the in­ter­net didn’t ar­rive overnight, and we saw it 12 years ago and how it was start­ing to af­fect us.’’

Peo­ple still sought the trusty ad­vice of travel agents, Gail said.

‘‘You come to travel agent be­cause they know what they’re talk­ing about.’’

Some com­mon mis­takes peo­ple made when trav­el­ling, Eve said, was not check­ing their pass­ports were valid, sur­names not match­ing travel doc­u­ments and not hav­ing the right visa.

Gail said she al­ways worked hard to make her clients feel spe­cial about their hol­i­days.

‘‘It’s their dream, so even if it’s some­one go­ing from Auck­land to Syd­ney, it’s still im­por­tant to them.

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